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Sunday, April 18, 2004

"You will have to live with that decision" 

washingtonpost.com: Behind Diplomatic Moves, Military Plan Was Launched This excerpt from Woodward's new book is curiously flat -- it shows Bush in January 13 and 14, 2003 in a series of high-toned conversations, informing Rice, Powell, Rove, the Saudis and the Polish PM that he is intent on war with Iraq -- there is a lot of grave babble about "the inspections aren't working" and "we're going to have to go to war" and "we're with you, Mr. President". Bush is calm and resolute, the advisors are calm and wise, the foreign leaders are calm and supportive. Were these the words actually spoken by human beings or are we reading what people would have liked to have said? In either case, the kind of war described here is an abstraction, where the key decision point appears to be the importance of "American credibility" and the discussions are all about Bush's feelings. The priceless quote of the piece is Rice supposedly saying to Bush "If you're going to carry out coercive diplomacy, you have to live with that decision" -- so Bush has to live with it, but more than 600 Americans have died with it.
Meanwhile, in other news NOT mentioned in any of these conversations, Ari Fleischer was lying to reporters about American intentions in Iraq. And apparently no one was factoring in the impact of North Korea's withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which had been announced three days before, nor was anyone even discussing whether the IAEA report questioning American claims on Iraq nuclear capabilities, also of three days before, should be part of the Iraq decision.

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